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Sapphire HD 4890 Atomic Edition Review

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To test out this new video card from Sapphire, I will run it through a series of game tests and synthetic benchmarks to see just how the performance compares to that delivered by similar video cards, as well as its direct competition from the Green camp. The OverclockersClub test system will be run as listed, with the processor operating at 3.0GHz. The respective video card settings that will be used are the driver defaults, with settings made in-game as noted to provide as few variables as possible.


Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:

Comparison Video Cards:



Overclocked settings:

  • Sapphire HD 4890 Atomic Edition 1050/1255

The Atomic Edition has a 1GHz GPU core clock as the starting point. You have to figure there is not much more, if anything, left since I have yet to have any HD 48XX series card go over this level. Well, the Sapphire Atomic does this, and frankly has more left to give. Even though the temperatures were kept in check with the driver controlling the fan speeds, this was the first thing I changed. I upped the fan speed to 70% just to give a little cooling cushion. Rather than take the slow and steady approach, I just pushed the core clock speed to 1050MHz and started testing, and this clock speed was able to pass through a 20 minute loop of 3DMark06. Unfortunately, that was all I was able to pull from the core. Now the memory, on the other hand, yielded some pretty big numbers. The stock speed on the GDDR5 memory is 1020MHz. I just kept pushing upwards until I finally reached the limit of stability at 1255MHz, a 235MHz improvement, which equates to almost a 25% jump in memory speed. The increased clock speeds did contribute to much healthier scores when the Atomic Edition was run back through the testing suite.

  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Crysis Warhead
  3. BioShock
  4. Call of Duty: World at War
  5. Dead Space
  6. Fallout 3
  7. Left 4 Dead
  8. 3DMark 06 Professional
  9. 3DMark Vantage


  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing (Setup & Overclocking)
  4. Testing: Far Cry 2
  5. Testing: Crysis Warhead
  6. Testing: BioShock
  7. Testing: Call of Duty: World at War
  8. Testing: Dead Space
  9. Testing: Fallout 3
  10. Testing: Left 4 Dead
  11. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  12. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  13. Conclusion
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